Walmart.Horse: Great Publicity for M+M

One of the biggest domain name stories of the last week involves the Walmart.Horse domain name and landing page. The short version of the story is that a person registered the Walmart.Horse domain name, and a company representing Walmart sent a cease and desist letter to the owner. The owner responded to the C&D, and here we are.

There has been quite a bit of press coverage of this story, and I think the buzz is good for the registry operator, Minds+Machines. Some of the news outlets that published articles about Walmart.Horse include:

  • Ars Techica
  • The Consumerist
  • New York Daily News
  • Business Insider
  • Toronto Star
  • Fortune

I don’t think Minds + Machines could buy this type of coverage. For one, it could be used as a warning to brands that they need to secure their brand new gTLD extensions or someone else could buy them. Secondly, I am sure there are many people who read these articles that don’t know that there is a .Horse extension, and that awareness can’t be bad.

I am sure some people will look at the negative side and use this as an example of abusive new gTLD registrations. Personally, I found this to be quite amusing, and I am surprised that Walmart didn’t secure the domain name before the current owner bought it.

I reached out to Antony Van Couvering, CEO of Minds + Machines, and here is what he had to say about Walmart.Horse:

“Domain names can be used for a lot of things, including satire and parody. It’s a big wide world out there, and the use of domain names reflects that. For brand owners, there are always two questions when it comes to domain registration: Do you want to use the name? Do you care if anyone else does? In Walmart’s case it appears that the answer to the first question was no, but for the second it was yes — but they may only now be discovering that. As for satirists, domain names containing a company’s name are always tempting because it captures the company’s attention and often provokes a publicity-inspiring response.”

It looks like .Horse saw a bit of a bump in registrations over the last few days, according to As of this afternoon, is reporting 1,489 .Horse registrations.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn
  1. Hey Sir Elliot:

    Hey can you pass this suggestion to GoDaddy:

    When you enter the validation code they send via text ,

    make it ENCRYPTED.

    Good idea?

  2. What?! .horse is the best domain yet. It is simple, memorable and applies to almost anything. I own portfolio of 100s of .horse domains, thats the next .com. With such gems as, , and ofcourse gem of my portfolio . I will be billionaire and move out to the and thats not horsing around.

  3. We like it, but it’s true that .horse doesn’t address the biggest market in the world. There are bigger ones. As my grandfather said, “There are more horse’s asses than there are horses.” We’re not going after that enormous market, some other TLDs seem to have it cornered already.

    • Are you implying that .horsesass is available? (Please let it be so, please, please, please…)

      I just read over at The Consumerist that .sucks will soon be available — but it’s going to be a bit pricey for most satirists, and way out of range for the average troll. I still expect some serious trouble to come out of that one before too long.

      In any event, somebody at Walmart’s legal department is learning the hard way what the Streisand Effect is. What they should do is let someone at their advertising agency work on this. There are many ways to turn into a fun experience that lets everyone come out ahead.

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